– Volkswagen completes first tests on original route in the USA
Preparations for the 96th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) are in full swing. The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak impressed from the word go at the first tests on the original route in the US state of Colorado.
The focus of Romain Dumas’ (F) practice runs was on chassis set-up, tyre tests and optimal use of battery charging and energy recovery when braking. As the 19.99-kilometre route to the summit at 4.302 metres is a public road, it was only available to the team for three hours.
On 24 June – in precisely three weeks – Dumas, a three-time winner of the most famous hill climb in the world, will set his sights on breaking the record for electric cars. The current record of 8:57.118 minutes was set in 2016. The 40-year-old will get just one attempt. As well as the technically extremely demanding route, with a change in elevation of 1,440 metres between the start and finish, the team also face many unknowns. The race has had to be cancelled or shortened due to adverse weather on several occasions in the past. In June, it snows or hails around the area of the summit on average 18 out of 30 days, while the temperature is often around freezing point.
Romain Dumas (F), Volkswagen I.D R Pikes Peak : « If even the slightest little thing goes wrong during the race, then a new electric record is hardly realistic. However, the I.D. R Pikes Peak is the best car I have ever driven up this mountain. Acceleration and cornering speeds are really impressive, and the car is also very comfortable: The electric powertrain means I do not need to shift gear, so I can focus fully on the racing line. However, there is obviously always room for improvement. We will fine-tune the set-up over the course of the remaining tests, and I am very confident ahead of the race on 24 June. »